Five reasons why cloud still requires operations teams


The cloud has been a transformative force in the world of IT, enabling organizations to do more with less and increasing agility and flexibility. But even as the cloud has made it easier to launch and scale applications, it has also introduced new challenges, particularly when it comes to managing and operating cloud infrastructure

While cloud providers offer a variety of tools to help manage cloud resources, these tools are often insufficient if not supplemented by either custom or 3rd party solutions and human supervision. 

Thus here are five reasons why cloud infrastructure still requires an operations team:

1. Cloud infrastructure is a complex environment

Cloud infrastructure has a variety of moving parts that must be monitored and managed. While kubernetes, a de-facto choice of running the production workload in the cloud, is wonderfully flexible, it has a lot of pain points when it comes to managing the clusters that are not immediately obvious and difficult to troubleshoot without experience. It’s easy for developers to deploy to the cluster but debugging the applications without assistance from the operations team can become a major bottleneck in an organization's deployment process.

Serverless might be a good solution but it is not a silver bullet, and it has a number of drawbacks that make it unsuitable for many business workloads. Selecting a serverless approach is a topic for another article but if you require fine grained control over the deployment, scalability and resiliency of your application, serverless might not be the answer. Also make sure that developers are on board with managing security, monitoring and troubleshooting of your infrastructure if you decide to go the no-ops route.

2. You don't keep up with the news, product and service updates

The cloud is constantly changing, with new services and features being introduced all the time. This can make it difficult to keep up with the latest changes and ensure that you are running your workload in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Due to that one might end up running a deprecated solution that will be quite difficult to maintain. 

Besides, there are a lot of moving parts involved in running a cloud workload and it might be difficult and inefficient to try and put it on developers to understand how they all work together. Or how to perform necessary infrastructure changes without breaking the whole system

Once again, serverless is not the answer here since it is still necessary to manage the underlying infrastructure which at the very minimum includes networking, access policy controls, databases and backups. Operations team can provide expert advice and guidance on how to best use the cloud infrastructure. 

3. Keeping tabs on security

Cloud security is not something to take lightly. With the shared responsibility model adopted by the cloud providers it becomes increasingly difficult for organizations running their workload in the cloud to understand their role in security of the infrastructure, all the potential threats and attack vectors and ensure that your data is secure. In addition, cloud providers often have different security controls than traditional on-premises data centers making it challenging to understand how to properly configure and secure your workload in the cloud. 

This can be alleviated by adopting the DevSecOps approach that encourages the use of automation and monitoring to help ensure that security controls are properly implemented and effective. However anecdotally, the security part tends to erode when put solely in the hands of developers, unless there is a prompt and honest feedback loop in place, either from the operations team with proper training or from security auditors but the latter tend to be quite more expensive.

4. Running up the cloud bill

Cloud costs can get out of control if left unsupervised. Cloud computing by default adopts a pay-as-you-go model, which means that you only pay for the resources that you use. This can be difficult to predict and can often lead to overspending if not constantly monitored and adjusted to requirements by the operations team. 

Besides, the cloud infrastructure is often much larger and more complex than traditional on-prem. This can make it difficult to identify and fix inefficiencies. Imagine you’ve architected a resilient and highly scalable cloud infrastructure but left it unchecked, which is often the case with the serverless approach. In such a case, if the application has drastic spikes in traffic, you could end up paying a lot more for cloud computing than you would for traditional servers. Operations teams can monitor the usage and performance of the cloud infrastructure, ensuring that it is being used optimally and efficiently. 

5. Lack of fast technical support from cloud providers

Cloud providers often do not offer the same level of support as traditional IT organizations. Truth is, they are not as invested in the success of their customers being more interested in selling their services than in providing support. On top of that, the support agents of the cloud provider will never have the same level of organization’s infrastructure and application knowledge as an in-house operations team. This makes troubleshooting and resolving the possible issues much slower and cumbersome if at all possible since in some cases the support team will not have access to the relevant data and services covered by the organization’s NDA. 

Of course this can be solved by purchasing the premium support plan from the cloud provider but the price of such a step is usually prohibitively expensive for the majority of small to medium-sized organizations. Having an operations team to keep tabs on the infrastructure is usually more cost-effective.

Invest in cloud infrastructure operations team or buy it as managed service

The cloud is still relatively new, and many organizations are still learning how to best take advantage of its capabilities. As a result, they may not have the in-house expertise necessary to fully leverage the cloud, often opting to rely on the cloud provider’s support. 

But while the cloud has introduced new challenges, it has also created new opportunities for efficiency and scalability if properly managed by operations teams. The cloud provides a new platform for automating tasks and managing resources at scale, enabling operations teams to be more agile, responding quickly to changes in the environment.

In addition, the cloud gives operations access to a wealth of data that can be used to improve performance and optimize costs. By leveraging the cloud’s capabilities, they continue to play a vital role in helping organizations realize the full potential of the cloud.

If you want to focus on the core of your business operations, don't have time to hire and build an in-house cloud-ops team, let us take care of your cloud infrastructure. Revolgy offers a skilled extension of your team when it comes to ongoing maintenance and on-demand scaling of your public cloud infrastructure. 

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If you are interested in learning more about Cloud Operations or need some advice, don't hesitate to get in touch.